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Innovation Unleashed: Behind The Scenes - Innovators at Work

Executive Director Justin Stehr with his KSC Heroes and Legends Project

In the spirit of Unleashing Innovation this year, we’re going straight to the source. Entech prides itself as a full turn-key company, from design-engineering to installation. But what goes on behind the scenes to get to install? How do we get our work in the first place? We talk with Executive Director Justin Stehr and Director of Operations Ian Gaines to get a firsthand look at the innovation in the details. 



 Justin Stehr : Executive Director

Can you walk us through your role at Entech and how it contributes to driving innovation within the company?  

I will start off with a saying we use around the office about Entech in that we call it “an overachievers paradise.” I seem to take advantage of that and with being a small business as Executive Director I have my hand in everything from “in” the business to “on” the business and this allows me to take time to go back and think about some of the problems or conversations in a global approach and allows for more innovative ideas or processes that come about with understanding how the business wants to grow and operate.  


What are some of the key challenges you face when estimating projects, and how do you overcome them?  

There isn’t a class or a school to gain the knowledge of what we do at Entech when it comes to Estimating. The projects that come to us 99% of the time are one-off elements that have never been done before. There are many key challenges 1) the amount of time to estimate 2) The scope or information given about the job are probably the critical ones. When it comes to time and overcoming that it’s all about time management like anything else. Scope and information are all about asking the right questions and also hoping the client can describe best what they want. It also is sometimes nice to have little information as we can use our own engineering minds to go about solving a problem and making out the best price on our own accord by our history and experience.  


How do you stay updated on industry trends and best practices in business management?  

Those are two different approaches, really. Industry trends – talk to people in the industry. It seems so simple, but the vast array of companies and therefore individuals in the industry allows for so many different ideas and in-depth conversations that you get trend information in many forms. When it comes to practices in business management I try and read a variety of books from “old school” to even newer ones. From a book on cold calling techniques from 20+ years ago to “Sideline CEO” on how some of the best coaches in sports were/are leaders the benefits to reading and getting perspective from sources beyond the actual business keeps me aware on multiple fronts.  



In your opinion, what sets Entech apart from other companies in terms of innovation in estimating/bids/business solutions?  

Having engineers do the estimates. What John Marhoefer and I can come up with in a short amount of time that could truly be a solution to the “one of a kind” element that the client requests allow us to be confident in going forward with the project feeling more “right” that this job will be a positive margin and allow not only Entech to have a successful job but the client as well. Projects perform the best when the job is sold for the right price for both parties. That means the contractor isn’t losing money or scraping by, and also means that the contractor isn’t raking in the money that then impacted what else had to be impacted in the eye of the client. The Goldilocks and the Three Bears theory at its finest. 



Ian Gaines : Director of Operations  

Can you walk us through your role at Entech and how it contributes to driving innovation within the company? 

As the Director of Operations, my primary responsibility revolves around overseeing the day-to-day workloads of various departments within the organization, including Engineering, Procurement, Project Management, Production, Human Resources, Safety and Health and Operations. My role is pivotal in ensuring that these departments function smoothly and efficiently, contributing to the overall success of the company.  


One of the key aspects of my role is fostering collaboration and teamwork among these departments. By encouraging a culture of collaboration and collective problem-solving, facilitating innovation within the organization is an instrumental part of Entech’s growth and with that, every department brings its own unique expertise to the table, and by working together as a cohesive unit, the outcome are solutions that are forward thinking, and innovative.  



Can you share a particularly challenging project you have worked on and how you overcame fabrication obstacles to achieve success? 

The Miami Cars project was one of the most challenging endeavors I have undertaken. The primary obstacle we faced was ensuring that the cars hung level both horizontally and vertically. Achieving this required meticulous planning and execution. 

To overcome this challenge, we implemented a rigorous fabrication process. Primarily, we meticulously measured and calculated the precise angles and dimensions required for the cars to hang correctly. This involved extensive collaboration between our team of engineers, designers, and fabricators to ensure accuracy. 

Next, we focused on the fabrication of the caryatids, which also needed to hang level alongside the cars. Similar attention to detail was paid to ensure their stability and alignment. One of the innovative solutions we implemented was the creation of a custom print fabric to mimic the appearance of a car undercarriage. This added to the aesthetic appeal and helped ensure uniformity and realism across all elements of the project. 

Furthermore, we integrated functional lights into the cars to enhance their visual impact. This required careful wiring and testing to ensure that the lights worked seamlessly and reliably. 

Throughout the fabrication process, we utilized FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) to construct both the cars and caryatids. FRP offered the ideal combination of strength, durability, and lightweight properties necessary for this project. 

In overcoming these fabrication obstacles, effective communication, attention to detail, and a collaborative approach were paramount. By leveraging innovative solutions and meticulous craftsmanship, we were able to successfully bring the Miami Cars project to fruition, achieving the desired level of precision and visual impact. 



Innovative minds are the driving force behind Entech's success, shaping every aspect of our operations. From the intricate details of project estimation to the fabrication challenges that arise during implementation, our team members continuously push the boundaries of innovation. We hope you enjoyed Executive Director Justin Stehr and Director of Operations Ian Gaines providing these invaluable insights into their roles and how they contribute to driving innovation within the company. Through their expertise, collaborative spirit, and dedication to excellence, Entech remains at the forefront of delivering cutting-edge solutions to our clients. 


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